New Mexico State Motto
State mottoes may be said to reflect the character and beliefs of the citizens of the state, or more accurately, the citizens of the state when they were adopted. State mottoes can help us gain insight into the history of a state. [What is a motto? ]
Adoption of the New Mexico State Motto
The New Mexico state motto was first used in 1882, when acting Territorial Secretary, William G. Ritch, added the Latin phrase Crescit Eundo to an early 1860's version of the territorial seal. In 1887, Ritch's version of the seal, including the words Crescit Eundo, was adopted by the legislature as part of the official New Mexico Territory seal and coat of arms.
When New Mexico became a state in 1912, the Legislature appointed a commission to settle on a design for an official "state" seal. As it turned out, the seal recommended by the commission and adopted by the Legislature was almost identical to the territorial seal and included the words Crescit Eundo.
About the New Mexico State Motto
The Latin phrase, Crescit Eundo, can be translated as "Increases as it goes" or, more commonly as New Mexico's motto, "Grows as it goes."
The phrase is taken from Book VI of Lucretius' epic scientific poem De rerum natura, (On the Nature of Things).
The New Mexico Statutes Annotated
New Mexico's state motto was adopted as an element of its official coat of arms and seal. The following information is excerpted from the New Mexico Statutes Annotated, Chapter 12, Article 3, Section 12-3-1.
CHAPTER 12 - Miscellaneous Public Affairs Matters.
The coat of arms of the state shall be the Mexican eagle grasping a serpent in its beak, the cactus in its talons, shielded by the American eagle with outspread wings, and grasping arrows in its talons; the date 1912 under the eagles and, on a scroll, the motto: "Crescit Eundo." The great seal of the state shall be a disc bearing the coat of arms and having around the edge the words "Great Seal of the State of New Mexico."
State Motto List: List of all of the state mottoes.
State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide, Third Edition - Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Greenwood Press, 2002
State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers and Other Symbols: A Study based on historical documents giving the origin and significance of the state names, nicknames, mottoes, seals, flowers, birds, songs, and descriptive comments on the capitol buildings and on some of the leading state histories, Revised Edition - George Earlie Shankle, Ph.D., The H.W. Wilson Company, 1938 (Reprint Services Corp. 1971)
Source:New Mexico Statutes and Court Rules, Unannotated, (http://www.conwaygreene.com/NewMexico.htm), March 23, 2005
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